""Books Across the Seas—better known as BATS—is the Club’s book distribution project that has run for 27 years. As of 1 January 2016, the project had distributed over 15 million books to over 65,000 schools throughout the country. Originally a joi"Books Across the Seas—better known as BATS—is the Club’s book distribution project that has run for 27 years.
As of 1 January 2016, the project had distributed over 15 million books to over 65,000 schools throughout the country.
Originally a joint project of the United States Information Service (USIS) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), BATS was turned over to RC Makati in 1988 during the term as club president of Jesus “Gigi” Zulueta. Carrying on with the USIS-AmCham system, the Club still sources books and other educational materials from the Brother’s Brother Foundation, a humanitarian foundation based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that has been operating since 1958. Its president, Luke Hingson, has been in Manila twice as a guest of the Club.
The BATS Committee was chaired for many years by John “Bud” Melvin and later by James “Jay” Savage, who continues to manage it to this day.
The project was initially funded by a seed fund of P100,000 from USIS and AmCham and a P1M donation from Allied Bank in 1995. Allied Bank has also allowed the Club rent-free use of a warehouse in Novaliches, where books are stored, sorted out, and stamped prior to release.
The project was beefed up in 2004-2005 with a collaboration with USAID that brought 60 container loads of books over a three-year period to schools in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
That the project has withstood the tests of time and tight finances owes to several factors – one, strong ties with the Brother’s Brother Foundation and friendship with BBF president Luke Hingson; two, the support of Allied Bank; three, the Club’s relationship with Rotary Clubs which serve as its distribution channels; and four, the Club’s decision to ask requesters who can afford it to make a small donation for every book they receive – P10 for hard bound books and P5 for smaller ones – to cover expenses for freight, customs duties, broker’s fees, warehouse maintenance and staff salaries. This move has placed the Club in a position to give books to requesting organizations that are unable to make donations, thus ensuring the sustainability of the project."""